How to Optimise for Voice SearchVanda Williams
It’s time to optimise for voice search in your SEO strategy. Learn these 5 tactics to optimise for voice search and rank better.
Voice search is now one of the most important aspects of the search industry. To get consistent traction for your site and posts, you’ll need to make sure your content can be found using voice search. In other words, it needs to be optimised for users conducting voice searches from mobile.
Why is voice search getting bigger?
Voice search is faster
Firstly, no one likes to type their questions when they can just ask someone out loud. Voice search makes asking questions and getting answers, faster. In fact, voice search is 3.7x faster than typing. In addition to it being faster, 65% of 25-49 year old’s speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once a day.
Voice search is unquestionably more suited for a world that values their time. As technology continues to advance, as will the conversational style of any voice search device. Already, the conversational nature of voice search is a big reason for its popularity and demand.
Voice search is apt for mobile
Because users on mobile leverage voice search the most, the rise of Smartphones also gave way to the rise of search assistants and smart speakers. Interestingly, 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the search results (e.g. “click to call” option). Meanwhile, OC&C estimates that $40 billion in the U.S. and $5 billion in the U.K. will be spent through voice commerce by 2022.
These statistics not only demonstrate that voice searches are key to future commerce, but also that they will almost fully take place on mobile devices. People will only continue to search from their mobiles, voicing their queries on the go.
What makes voice search different from traditional search?
Voice search contains more keywords
Due to the nature of voice search, we usually tend to include more words than when typing out a traditional search query.
When we use voice, we might ask, “Hey Siri, how do I make chocolate cake at home?“
Whereas, on a computer, we might type “chocolate cake recipe.”
Voice search enables longer, more conversational questions; making keywords longer themselves. More and more, people are getting used to speaking in natural language with their voice-enabled devices. Natural language, when used for search, also has a stronger ability to relay user search intent. In other words, what the user is really asking from their search query, and what that means regarding their buyer’s journey. Companies who optimise for voice search can leverage these detailed insights into search intent, and effectively increase their conversion rate.
Local listings are a priority for voice searches
Most smartphone searches are local. Similarly, mobile voice search is 3x more likely to be local-based than traditional text search. For local businesses, voice search will probably become the way the majority of your customers find you.
In order to optimise for local search, get sharp with keywords relevant to your local searcher:
- Call out any landmarks, or local places of significance, that will be a cue for your searcher
- Note any local places of interest that matter to your company
- Describe your company the way locals would in natural language
5 strategies to optimise for voice search
1. Think local & mobile
As mentioned above, mobile-enabled voice search allows users to ask hyper-local questions, and perform on-the-go local queries.
To optimise, make sure directions to local businesses and XML sitemaps are readable to search engines and visitors on your website. Also, ensure that your mobile strategy is focused and geared towards improving page speed and load times. Lastly, make sure that you create different mobile/desktop experiences for users. For example, optimise for “near me” type searches on mobile.
2. Understand your buyer persona and their device behaviour
Marketers constantly need to dig deeper into the intent of their customers and their searches.
Utilising real-time data and research on consumer insights can help determine which devices people are using voice search on, and how they choose to use it. This intel will help guide your optimisation efforts, given your buyer persona and which type of person/demographic you are trying to target.
3. Focus on conversational keywords
Voice search differs from text search in the usage of question phrases.
To optimise, try adding some relevant question keyword phrases to your keyword list as a test:
- Identify your highest value question phrases
- Optimise for these keywords
- Consider tailoring the ad copy and landing page more expressly towards the highest-value questions asked
- Include more filler words in your questions to resemble natural language
4. Create persona-based content
On top of creating useful, original content as part of your inbound marketing strategy, for voice search optimisation you’ll also have to:
- Create detailed answers to common questions.
- Use clear and concise language to answer simple questions.
To optimise, create rich content that can answer your users’ most common questions. Think of answers that match their conversational tone, but that supply them with all they need to know to solve their pain points.
5. Create FAQ pages
Voice searches typically begin with a question like, “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” “Why,” or “How.”
In general, your site should be performing smoothly and be technically sound. Also, you should ensure that the navigation and informational structure are easy to find while maintaining a fast page load speed.
To optimise for voice search, you can begin answering the above questions in the form of a FAQ page. Start each sentence with one of these adverbs, and answer the questions conversationally to trigger your content when that question is asked. Since your page is optimised for voice search and fills an immediate need, it will be found by one of the 3.25 billion people currently using voice-activated search and assistants worldwide.